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How to vote

Voting is easy - find out how to vote with this quick guide, it will provide you with all the information you need to know.

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Register to vote
In order to be able to vote in UK elections and referendums in England or Wales you need to be on the electoral register. You can register online at and you can register at any time throughout the year as the register is updated every month. This is useful if you move house and need to register at your new address.

At the polling station

Check your polling card to find your polling station. Contact us if you're unsure where your polling station is.

The polling station should be well signed outside and will have directions inside to make sure you get to the right place to vote. Polling stations are be open between 7am and 10pm for all elections.

Confirm your details

When you approach the desk where the poll clerks are working, hand them your polling card if you have one. If you don't have a polling card you can still vote if you tell the clerks your name and address. 

Even if you have handed them a polling card, they will ask you to confirm your name and address; this is a regulation that the staff must follow.

Receive your ballot paper

The poll clerks will check that your name appears on the register of electors. If it does, they will hand you a ballot paper and provide any help or instruction you may require. If you do not appear on the register they will not be able to issue a ballot paper.  There are no exceptions to this rule.

Make your vote

Go into the polling booth and make a mark (preferably a cross) in the box next to the name of the person for whom you wish to vote. Make no other mark on the paper and be particularly careful not to make any mark that could identify yourself; if you do your vote will be spoiled and not counted.

Guiding other voters

Please be aware that it is against the law for you to instruct other voters on how they should cast their vote. If, as a family group, you wish to discuss who to vote for, you must do so before you collect your ballot papers. You are not allowed to enter a polling booth in couples or groups. 

Every person has the absolute right to cast their vote in secret, and it is the job of the polling station officers to enforce this.

Postal votes

If you receive a postal vote then you should mark the ballot paper in the normal way. There will also be a Postal Voters Statement to complete with you date of birth and your signature as previously supplied. Be sure to follow exactly the instructions for voting supplied with your postal vote.

Proxy votes

Proxy voters (people who have been appointed to vote on someone else's behalf) vote exactly as described above whether they vote in person at a polling station or by post.